TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Stranger's Phone Line Active in Apartment

Re: Stranger's Phone Line Active in Apartment

T (
Thu, 12 Apr 2007 17:51:25 -0400

In article <>,

> Paul wrote:

>> For "safety," and so I would not get accused of tapping, I might just
>> twist the wires together and connect them to a good ground ... ;)

> That might cause the other person's phone service to fail.

> It would probably be best not to tamper with the wires at all.

> If you have concerns, notify the phone company now and let them handle
> it.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Lisa, I probably should have labeled
> his message in the 'Last Laugh!' category, but I did not. His
> suggestion (especially since he said he had heard dial tone on that
> mystery pair) would definitly have 'caused the other persons phone
> service to fail'. No doubt about it! This reminds me once again of
> (the anecdote I told yesterday) the time I found that cobweb riddled
> cable running from the old abandoned manual switchboard in Chicago
> with the installer tech's note from 1908 saying 'these pairs go to
> the building at (address)': my partner there said "what if someone
> just snipped that cable cleanly, carefully covered it back up and
> left it?". My thought was Illinois Bell probably would have been
> frantic looking for the trouble (at the least) and almighty pissed
> off at the worst. But then, the message you were replying to had a
> smiley-face at the end of it which I guess you missed. I guess I
> agree with your conclusion: If/when one comes across these ancient
> oddities, one should really notify telco (at least once, and that
> is assuming anyone from telco is willing to listen and learn.) PAT]

IBT would have just done a Time Domain Reflectivity test to determine
where the break in the line was.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I know, I know! I had installed a
'mini-PBX' in that same building for someone with an extension from
it to some friend of theirs across the street. I 'borrowed' from that
50-pair cable myself to make the trip. One day, there was a bad flood
in the building, some water dripped in on that cable. Not only did it
knock out my mini-pbx extension it also knocked out (or put much
static and cross talk on) someone's phone in the neighborhood. It was
the horrible, bitter winter of 1983 in Chicago, in fact. Bell was
out there, found the cable and its problems, re-wired _their_ customer
elsewhere on a different cable, and told me I could deal with my
problems on it however I wanted. This was after some court somewhere
had ruled on 'common conduit' and decided anyone was essentially
entitled to shove whatever they wanted up anyone else's conduit, so
Bell did not complain about me being there, just that I would have to
rewire my customer myself. PAT]

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